Travel Blogs from Siena
We finally make it to Italy.
And not a minute too late either as the area was due for some rainy weather within the next 24 hours which would have put a damper on the beginning of our Tuscany road trip. Particularly since we had splurged and hired a convertible.
With the sun shining, the top back and Brendan cruising down the …
... and dry. Job done! Then to a tour office as we only have 3 days here before off to the Amalfi Coast. Booked the hop on hop off for tomorrow and the Vatican and colosseum on Monday...can't go to the Vatican on a Sunday as it is closed! Will probably hit the Trevi Fountain tonight and gift a few Euro's to help pay the Italian debt. No photo's yet, so will update some tomorrow, which will include some of Tuscany. ...
... Siena I wasn't feeling great. Class started at 10:30 and we were on time, but the only ones there. Not even the translator had arrived yet! So we talked with Nonna for a bit, and between the few English words she knew and some words that sounded similar in Spanish so I kind of understood them we actually got by! Ten minutes later everyone was there and we go up to her kitchen. But it's hot. And the room is stuffy. And the lights are bright and hot...and I start to ...
... of culture, food, wine (because every Italian is an expert). Instead of staying in a hostel with other travellers from Australia, drinking at the touristy bars, getting charged tourist prices and seeing nothing outside of the main square as the tour group you have elected to join doesn’t go past the traditional wall.
It all a matter of choice, however my new motto remains: Have fun, let go and just enjoy everything!
Wish me ...
It felt so good to be behind the wheel of a car. We hadn't been in a car, even a cab, since the 14th of August. Crazy. The roads through the Chianti wine trail wind and wind and then they wind some more. It's not a good idea to daydream while at the wheel here, you could end up in a vineyard or worse over a very high cliff. The landscape is so astoundingly beautiful, around every turn we would oooooh and ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Athena Siena
Recently (end of September) stayed at the Athena. I would give the hotel a 1 star and that would be for the location. Otherwise, at best, I would rate the hotel a 2 star. Our room was very dirty - a lot of dirty marks all over the bedroom walls, and the bathroom floor tiles looked like they were all coming off the floor - and the floor slanted. We do a lot of traveling throughout Italy every year and I have to say this is the worse hotel we stayed in. I mentioned to the gentleman at the desk that our walls were very marked up and dirty - to which he replied - that the hotel is old. I have stayed in many an older hotel and old hotels have nothing to do with the cleanliness of the rooms. I would never stay there again and would not advice anyone else to.
Clean, basic hotel
Stayed here for 1 night. Would say its a 3 star hotel rather than a four star. Great location only 10 min walk from main square and shops. Room was basic but spotless. Staff friendly, were happy to book me a taxi in the morning. Breakfast ok, nothing special. The roof terrace with views of Tuscany really makes this hotel. Would recommend it for a short stay.
After just returning from a month in europe I had to write about the Athena in Siena. I believe it was one of the worse hotels I have ever stayed at anywhere. Rooms were dingy, staff more than rude and not a bit helpful in regards to anything. Location was close enough to the square, but I would never consider staying there again nor would I recommend it to anyone. Fortunately we had excellent hotels in Rome and Venice ,Cosmopolita in Rome and the Del Campo in Venice made up for our experience in Siena.
Did the job, but could have been better
Distance from Piazza Del Campo was not bad. About 10-15 minutes walk up and down charming hilly streets.
Very safe area. I walked back to the Athena one night at about 1.45 am...no problems
Air Conditioning works great
No business center.
Rooms were fairly clean
Breakfast was ok
just did not find it all that nice
Staff was friendly
This is easily a hotel which would be highly rated in the United States. Concierges are extraordinarily helpful and multilingual. Parking couldn't be more convenient , you take the elevator to level 2 and it is at no charge. The rooms are spaceous and very clean, modern bathrooms and some have breathtaking views. The terrace view on what is misleadingly called level 7, the reception being on 5, is truly outstanding. The breakfast is wonderful, just be sure to ask for an Italian type of coffee. The one provided is marginal. The bar/espresso counter in the rear is serviced as soon as you ask the concierge. This is a budget priced hotel in a small Italian town with all the conveniences and security you would expect from an expensive American hotel. What a great find! Ask at the desk for restaurant recommendations, you cannot go wrong!
This is a good hotel by European standards and for the price ($138/night in July). We had a large room and bathroom with a beautiful view of the countryside. Two double beds pushed together, but that's fairly normal in Europe. Decent, traditional, Italian buffet breakfast if it is included in your room rate. An nice short walk to main shops and restaurants but away from the crouds. We would stay there again and really enjoyed the olive oil and truffle tour (brochures in the lobby - worth the money)!
Not as upmarket as it thinks it is
Unfortunately we stayed at the Athena for the first 3 nights of our honeymoon and our double room turned out to contain 2 single beds pushed together and was rather on the small side.
The roof terrace was marvellous - but hampered by the staff having a bizarre reluctance to open the hotel bar (we only managed to get one beer in 3 days).
And on checking out the reception staff insisted that we had to pay for the last night of our (pre-paid) visit. This was eventually sorted out when they located our documentation but would certainly put us off returning.
Loved the view
Our tour stayed at the Hotel Athena for two nights. My husband and I were lucky to have a room with a view of the countryside. It was absolutely breathtaking! The room was clean and comfortable and within walking distance of the shops and town square. We turned off the air conditioning and left the windows open. A rooster crowing woke us in the morning. Lovely! Well-stocked, generous breakfast included in the dining room.
The only negative of the acommodations was the tiny bathroom with dark brown tile walls. Very dark and hard to get ready in. But it was clean and included a hair dryer. Overall, we were very satisfied with the hotel.
Not a bad hotel, although I think 4 stars is stretching it. Was tough to find, the hotel needs to provide better directions. Great view from terrace. Staff friendly.